Dark Roast vs Light Roast - What's the Difference?

Dark Roast vs Light Roast Explained

coffee beans, roast level, dark roast, medium roast, light roast

Coffee bean roasting is an integral part of the coffee process, as it greatly determines the flavour of the final product. Some roasters specialize in darker roasts and some lighter, but what difference does it exactly make?

Before beans are roasted, they are green in colour. The darker the roast means that the beans are exposed to higher heat for a longer period of time in comparison to lighter roasts. Of course, roasting is much more complex than that but that’s the main difference. Light roasts are usually taken out of the roaster at or just after the first crack at 190-195C, whereas darker roasts are taken a few minutes after the second crack around 204-210C.

Difference in Flavour

In terms of flavour, light roasts are often more delicate and have a more complex taste profile since they maintain the original notes of the coffee bean that make it unique (i.e berry, chocolate, nutty notes). Darker roasts are often described as bold, robust or smoky and may at times take away the uniqueness of the bean. At Terminal 3 Roasters, we choose to focus on lighter roasts to give our audience a chance to experience the different taste profiles that lighter roasts showcase.

tasting notes

Caffeine Level

There is a misconception that darker roasts have higher caffeine content. In fact, the same bean with the same weight will contain the same level of caffeine whether it's a dark or light roast. Roasting level plays no role in affecting the caffeine level contrary to popular belief.

So... Which One is Better?

Both light roasts and dark roasts can be exceptionally good on their own terms. Coffee is an experience, so the better-quality roast is the roast that puts a bigger smile on your face!